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Racism, Language, and Gran Torino

January 15, 2009

A video of Prince Harry referring to one of his Army platoon buddies as “our little paki friend” has won widespread criticism and condemnation for the Prince, the royal family, the military, and implicitly – for anglosaxons in general. The official statement says he had used the term about a friend and without malice.

This reminds me of the point made by Clint Eastwood’s new film Gran Torino. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski– an old-school, bitter war vet that makes use of racial epithets casually throughout the film. He complains about the ‘gooks’ moving in next-door and when he sees black thugs on the street corner he asks rhetorically ‘what are these spooks up to?’ He tells racist jokes:

A Mexican, a Jew, and a colored guy go into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Get the fuck out of here.”

He also banters back and forth with his friends about their ethnicities, calling his barber friend an Italian son of  bitch and his Irish friend a Mic – getting called a polack in return.

So what’s the point? He uses racial epithets indiscriminately and likewise receives racial epithets. And he’s a good man. I believe that those who are hyper-sensitive about political correctness and racial sensitivities – those who are obsessed with “diversity” – are the true racists. They are the ones that think because you’re not white you deserve special treatment and that your race is some sacred characteristic that can never be spoken except in total admiration and reverence.

If you’re going to live in a multi-cultural world, you must have a sense of humor about race. If you’re going around looking for racism and ready to cry if someone points out your race without reverence you’re going to be miserable. Prince Harry is part of the new-school that has truly moved beyond racism and is comfortable enough with race to joke about it. To all the leftist P.C. vultures waiting to jump on any faint glimmer of racism: grow up.


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